Drowning Prevention

SRP and The Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona have put together and printed a Drowning Prevention flyer and I would like to share this information with Go Au Pair  au pairs and host families because child drownings are the top cause of preventable death for Arizona children.

Most drownings involve kids between 2 & 5, and occur in a backyard pool.

Just three basic steps can save the life of a child today:

BLOCK access to swimming pools with Layers of Protection. The best barrier is a pool fence. Add childproof locks and chimes on doors leading to the backyard. Never prop open a gate, and make sure that children cannot climb furniture or trees to get into the pool area.

WATCH children closely when they have access to the water.  More than two thirds of children who drown in Arizona were not expected to be near the pool. When swimming with children, stay close enough to touch them if they need assistance. Make sure you have a designated adult to watch children when they swim, especially at large gatherings.

LEARN  what to do in an emergency. If a child is missing, check the pool first. Keep your CPR skills sharp by refreshing them once a year, and teach children how to swim at the appropriate age.

Even when children can swim like fish, it’s essential to continue to block access to water. Entry for any family member into water should only be allowed with direct supervision, because a drowning can happen to anyone at any time.

Want to learn more about child drownings, or get involved in the effort to keep children safe in your community? Check out the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona’s website at www.preventdrownings.org .

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Au Pairs for your Live-in Childcare at Short Notice

Au Pairs for your Live-in Childcare at Short Notice School is over and done with in the month of June for most parts of the country! Do you have everything organized to cover the extra child care your children need? If you feel that you need child care at very short notice, there are Au Pairs already in the country, who for one reason or another need to switch families, which can be arranged within a week or two. My agency, Go Au Pair names them Transition Au Pairs [caption id=”attachment_98″ alig … Read More

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Thinking About International Adoption?

Thinking About International Adoption? Many families who are adopting a child from another country are turning to the au pair program for more reasons than just childcare.  Although their initial need is childcare, they choose to go the au pair route because it provides them with a person who can help them understand their new child’s culture, language, and country.  I’ve seen several families take their au pair with them to pick up their baby.  This provides the family with a person … Read More

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An Au Pair for adopted children is the best childcare solution

Many of adoptive parents have no access to their kid’s culture and learning about culture is hard, especially when you don’t have somebody from that culture to help you out. The international nannies, Au Pairs may help parents learn their children’s culture and  heritage. An Au Pair program offers what other forms of child care can’t: introduces and exposures adopted kids to their birth culture  and gives kids a sense of connection to their herit … Read More

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Avoiding Communication Problems

When I was in Sweden as an exchange student I went to the Gymnasium. Did I work out there? Not really, gymnasium is Swedish for high school. One day during lunch at said gymnasium I was practicing my Swedish. Half way through the short sentence (three words long) I stumbled and switched back to English. Jag ar (I am) … FULL. Everyone looked at me shocked!!!!! “What did I say?” “You just told us you were drunk.” “Oh. Well how do I say I’ve got a lot of food in my stomach. And, I’m done eating?”

Avoiding Communication Problems Recently, my 9-year-old son was playing outside with my neighbor’s 10-year-old nephew who was visiting from Cork, Ireland.  After a while, my son came into the house crying.  It seems he had gotten into an argument with the little boy and was quite upset.  I asked him what happened.  Apparently, they were “rough playing” as boys that age tend to do.  Some pine cones were thrown and then some words were exchanged.  “Well, what did he say?” I asked … Read More

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Host Family How To: Au Pair Notebook

The most frustrating thing for a Host Family is to get an au pair just to find out that she doesn’t know what she’s doing. She wanders around the house aimlessly, follows the kids, and looks at you like now what do I do? She’s supposed to be a professional so why is this not working?!

When you start a new job the first thing your employer does in train you. One of the tools of training is often a manual.  

An employee manual, is a book given to employees by an employer. Usually, the employee handbook contains information about company policies and procedures. The employee handbook is an excellent place to bring together employment and job-related information which employees need to know, such as holiday arrangements, company rules and disciplinary and grievance procedures. It can also provide useful source of information to new staff as part of the induction process. A written employee handbook gives clear advice to employees and creates a culture where issues are dealt with fairly and consistently. – “Employee Handbook.” Wikipedia: The Online Encyclopedia. 5/17/2011 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employee_handbook 

The first thing in your Au Pair Notebook should be a welcome letter. Let your au pair know how happy you are to have her and what you are looking forward to during the year. Describe your family and tell her how she can contribute as the newest member. If you are one of those families with a mission statement, include that. Encourage your au pair to develope her personal mission statement to include.

Second, you should include information about the orientation process. As your Go Au Pair Local Area Representative (LAR), I will come within the first two weeks of the au pair’s arrival to do an in person orientation. (Please read Host Family How To: The Orientation.)

Third, is the section that talks about timekeeping proceedures and daily breaks. I encourage my Host Families to have their au pairs keep track of their hours worked in writing. Leave some blank pages for the au pair to do this daily.

Section number four should discuss information about the au pair’s salary and benefits (education, vacation, insurance).  If you plan on awarding your au pair a performance-based raise now would be the time to inform her of the expectations to meet in order to get it.

Next discuss expectations about conduct and discipline policies. Include the house rules here. (Please read Host Family How To: House Rules.) You’ll also want to explain your attendence policy, remember au pairs can get sick too. Plus, decide on and communicate the grounds for dismissal. Also, discuss problem resolutions steps.

I encourage all of my host families to have monthly or bi-monthly performance reviews with their au pairs. In the sixth section write the guidelines for these. Include how and when they will be conducted.

Seventh, inform your au pair of rules concerning mail, telephone, household equipment, Internet and e-mail, and use of the automobile.

In the eighth section, discuss procedures on handling accidents such as those involving herself, the children or the automobile. Include First Aid and CPR guides. Teach your au pair about 911 and include phone numbers for the police, amublance, doctors, hospitals, fire department, etc.

If you want your au pair to keep things about your family confidential you should include a section about this. If your the type of family that needs it, have a lawyer draw up a confidentiality agreement.

The most important section is the section about your children and their needs. This will help your au pair bond with them. I was reading an organization blog, JOYS, the other day. She wrote a post about a babysitter notebook that I thought would be a great help to my Host Families. Take a look at her PDFs and incorporate them into your Au Pair Notebook.

The last thing in the Au Pair Notebook should be an agreement that the au pair signs stating that she read the notebook and agrees to the terms you set forth.

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An Au Pair and the educational requirements.

An Au Pair and the educational requirements. Here is the information regarding education for Au Pairs from Go Au Pair. Every Au Pair must register and attend classes offered by an accredited U.S. post secondary institution for not less than six semester hours of academic credit or it’s equivalent Preapproval for schools can be given from the corporate office.  Au Pairs must simply submit the Education Preapproval Request Form provided in the Welcome Packet. Standard Au Pairs must complete 6 … Read More

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